Bond University has appointed highly credentialled AFL player and coach Andy Lovell as the Bull Sharks’ Director of Football.
The new full-time position was created after an end of season review.
Lovell played over 150 AFL games for Melbourne and West Coast before embarking on a coaching career that saw him hold senior coaching positions in the WAFL and VFL and a variety of roles including player welfare, head of development and senior assistant coach at AFL clubs West Coast, Geelong, St Kilda and the Gold Coast Suns.
“I’m really looking forward to exploring what’s possible going forward here at Bond University and I’m super excited to be joining the Bull Sharks team,” he said.
“I’m confident I bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to the role and will work closely with the players and staff to strive to be the best we can be.’’
After calling time on his AFL coaching career Lovell settled on the Gold Coast where he broadened his experience in senior positions with AFL Queensland and the Clontarf Foundation where he mentored Indigenous athletes.
However, the game he has loved since his childhood in Tasmania was never far from his thoughts and he leapt at the chance to utilise the expertise honed at the elite level to help develop the Bull Sharks’ players and coaches.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have spent over 30 years playing and working in an industry that I love,” he said.
“The game has given me so many opportunities and after a short break I can’t wait to give back.’’
Bond’s Director of Sport Michael Collins said the new position would support the University’s ambition to strive for continuous improvement within the Bull Sharks’ sporting programs.
“There is no substitute for experience, and Andy has this in spades having played and coached at the highest level,’’ he said.
“Andy will have a club wide role, but his initial focus will be on the women’s teams so we can maintain our position as the nation’s leader in producing AFLW draftees while being very competitive at the highest club level in Queensland.’’
The position will incorporate the Director of Coaching duties that have been performed on a part-time basis by departing premiership coach Dave Ashkar.
The Bull Sharks President John Le Lievre paid tribute to Ashkar whose contribution will be recognised at the upcoming end-of-season Awards Night.
“Dave has made such a positive impact on the development of the club at Bond, particularly the women’s teams,” he said.
“He is so respected and admired, and the club wishes him well.”